Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chapter 45:1-15 comments: land of Goshen

1 ¶  Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. 2  And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. 3  And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. 4  And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 5  Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. 6  For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. 7  And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8  So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. 9  Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: 10  And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: 11  And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. 12  And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. 13  And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. 14  And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15  Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.

Joseph could no longer contain himself and he told his Egyptian staff to leave the room. But, they could hear his emotional outcry to his brothers. It takes him a bit to convince them that he is, indeed, Joseph their brother. The brothers are dumbfounded. What they meant maliciously God turned to good. He does that with human actions on a regular basis. People throughout history have done many wicked things, often for power and profit, which God has permitted to be done but used to put forth His own purpose such as Europe conquering the world and enslaving millions by their will for power and profit yet God used their evil desire to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ and today faith in Christ is growing at its greatest rate in the so-called third world with people of faith in every part of the world. This does not make slavery and conquest less evil and murderous but simply shows that, as with Joseph’s brothers actions God will not let it go without using it in some way for His purpose.

Joseph introduces himself to his brethren and could it be that the Jews in Israel in the end of history learn of who Jesus really was and is in the same time frame? Some preachers have noted that if there is a seven-year Tribulation at the end of history, of which that last 3 ½ years is called the Great Tribulation, that Jesus might make Himself known to the Jews in a special way 2 years into it. Who can say? Prophecy revealed is not set up for us to gloat over a pretense of smugly declaring how we know the future in detail but as a warning and for the following reason.

John 14:29  And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

He has already planned for them to live in the land of Goshen, which some say was the area of northeastern Egypt where the Nile entered the Mediterranean Sea. It was lush and fertile land and a place separate from the rest of the Egypt. Of course, this is an assumption based on the conclusions of a 19th century scholar, Henri Naville. We must be careful in accepting this. Goshen is a word transliteration from a Hebrew word which may or may not have originated from an Egyptian word. Goshen could be in northeastern Egypt or it could have been elsewhere and drawing conclusions on lack of evidence is the bane of scholarship. Let us say that it was a suitable place for herds and it is doubtful that the Pharaoh would have imagined how numerous the Hebrews would become. 

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